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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

News Roundup, 4/14/2008: The Campaign Exchange Program

This weekend mounted one very important question: why would McCain raise money for Giuliani?

Retiring debt is the unfortunate aftermath of plenty of campaigns, regardless of whether they win or lose. Sometimes it is a reasonable amount, sometimes it is enormous, but it is always easier for a candidate to retire it when they win the office they run for.

Giuliani didn't win. We all know that. And sure, he endorsed John McCain. But that wouldn't normally or necessarily obligate McCain to make debt-retirement pitches on Mr. Mayor's behalf. And yet, here he is, dropping memos and gathering cash.

As I am almost certain McCain cannot pick Giuliani as his running mate, this baffles me. McCain is a maverick and represents a part of the GOP that is A) totally disparate from the core chunk of Republicans, until they all fall in line, and B) except for the 9/11 Hyper Security Demographic they both share, Giuliani represents an entirely different part of the Republican Party than McCain. So I guess you could make the party unity argument, but it seems odd, like there's something in my political blind spot I'm just not seeing.

One thing I do understand, implicitly, is why McCain would shift gears on the mortgage crisis and go from "Stop Whining" straight to "Here To Help" in under 10 seconds. It is no wonder: President Bush is feeling the heat of not only an unpopular war but also a mounting economic panic.

Okay, enough of that. In non-presidential news, Al Franken is raising some pretty decent money. While this race isn't in my state, I still find it encouraging. I like it when candidates that are famous for other things get down in the real work of campaigning and make a solid try of it. Phone time is not something one gets easily acclimated to, but then again, neither is governing.

I pointed this out on Friday, and will do so again, because I like biographical things that illustrate different sides of public figures: here's Maureen Dowd's column on presidential candidates and vice.

Lastly, I'll point you to Lorenzo Sadun's suggestions for reforming the caucus system here in Texas. While the system we had in place worked, part of the process is revisiting the process so that it can work even more effectively, suggesting new methods or tweaks, making changes — the sausage-making of elections, if you will. How we choose our delegates and nominees should rightly be the subject of vigorous debate and thoughtful consideration, always.

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